When my little guy asked "what does sumo mean?" I replied "wrestler." He paused, then noted "sumo wrestler" was wrong, for it would mean "wrestler wrestler."
That set a train (wreck) of thought in motion. What about pizza pie? Or ATM machine? Or PIN number?
Any other examples of where language is no longer our servant?
Well, I take a slightly different tack on pleonasms. Language, in general, is redundant. That's mainly because, communication is important and noise ubiquitous. People tend to say ATM machine and PIN number because ATM and PIN by themselves can be ambiguous. As for pizza and pie, the two are not synonyms for me, though I understand that other anglophones do say pie where I say pizza. And sumo is a kind of wrestling, and not the wrestler. So sumo wrestler seems more like kick boxer than wrestler wrestler. I'm sure many will disagree, and so be it.
In Japan, wrestling is where the athlete is greater than the sumo his parts. (There! I said it and I'm glad!)
But seriously, folks... (ba-dum bum!) Can anyone honestly say that they have heard the term "pizza pie" used by anyone in the past 50 years? The last person I saw using this term was in a TV show filmed in black and white.
It seems to me that "pizza pie" was what they called it way back when it was still being introduced to the culture. As a novelty, they had to relate it to what was already known. "Apple pie," we understood. "Blueberry pie," fine. So "pizza pie" was the term that someone decided seemed unthreatening enough so that new consumers might be persuaded to put the stuff into their mouths.
Go into any pizzeria today and ask for a "pizza pie" and I wouldn't be surprised if they responded "You want that a la mode?"
CJ Stolin has (carbon) dated me.
I do seem to recall a song "When the moon hits your eye..." And the singer was Dean Martin, an Italian who ought to have known better.
My better half has leapt to my rescue.
jheem makes a good point that language must be redundant sometimes. But "free gift?"
And the singer was Dean Martin, an Italian who ought to have known better.
Dino Paul Crocetti was an American from Steubenville, Ohio. And pizza pie is no worse than River Avon.
But "free gift?"
As opposed to costly poison? Or expensive fish? Kangaroo [sic]